Baby’s gone a visiting

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Copy of ND baby Tom hr cropped (2) (41449359) . The week-old baby gets a welcome from Francoise Malby Anthony. Pictures: David Bozas

Durban - The influence of world-renowned elephant whisperer, Lawrence Anthony, who died two years ago, continues to live on in the Thula Thula home he shared with his wife, Francoise.

And now it has been responsible for reuniting a lost week-old elephant with her herd after becoming separated from her mother at the Zululand private game reserve.

Anthony saved the life of the baby’s mother 10 years ago when he prevented her from being shot by a hunter.

Her baby daughter had been wandering alone about a week ago and got lost in the bush for about 18 hours when the Thula Thula chef, Tom Xulu, found her trying to knock on Francoise Malby Anthony’s door late at night.

“She seemed intuitively to know that she could find a refuge in our home,” Anthony’s widow recalled.

“We decided to let her in and settled her into the lounge where it was safe and warm.

Copy of ND ELEPHANT - Lounge (41449358) And she makes herself at home before being reunited with her herd. .

“After being fed, she had a good sleep and once the rangers had located the herd, a rescue mission was launched with our former head ranger, David Bozas, who had worked closely with Lawrence.”

The area where the herd was located was so dense with bush that Bozas felt the best plan would be to attract the herd to him and the rangers.

He was not sure the herd would remember Anthony’s special call, but decided to use the same words the famous elephant whisperer had used to beckon them.

“On repeating his call, ‘Hello my babas’, the herd stopped and approached us. It was quite a special moment,” Bozas said.

And at 1am, four hours after the little elephant was found by the Thula Thula chef, she was reunited with her mother and the herd. She was named Tom after the chef.

Bozas is part of the team continuing Anthony’s legacy by establishing the Big Five community game reserve at Camperdown.

The reserve is expected to become a model for community game reserves in the country. - Daily News

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